Monday, June 28, 2010

Independencia... for 6 weeks more...!

Family and Friends,
(note, I am struggling really hard to keep the "L" working on my keypad. I don´t have a ton of time... so it it does not work when I push it... there will not be an "L", please understand.)
Shout Out: President Johns y Maltalti (or something speled like that). President Johns finishes his 3 years this week on Wednesday and President Maltalti starts his 3 years... Wednesday. I realy enjoyed the time that I had to work under President Johns, he is an amazing Mission President and I would not be surprised to see him as one of the 70 in a few years or months. Keep your eyes pealed for an "Eder Johns" in General Conference... it is going to happen...
My Week: Normal. Needess to say more. I received changes last night for my district. Eder Poma and Elder Tobar were the only two to change. Eder Estrada will be training and Elder Solares will be a Senior Companion. I am still with Eder Vuinovic and we are ready to work tirelessly hard this change to bring to pass much good. Yeah, we don´t have any idea where we are going to go. I feel like I have talked to EVERYONE... but... hey. Obviously we have some improving to do. Murmuring never helped ANYONE.
We have started our new strategy of going house to house knocking (or yelling HA VER!!!) and sharing our message. We have had some success with getting into peoples houses... now we just need to get them to church and into the water!
Baptisms: 3
New Investigators: 76
Lessons Taught: 167
Investigators at Church: 27
Number of times the Spirit was felt: Priceless
I believe that we can baptise... 3-4 more people this change. We have a family that wants to be baptised... but they have to change houses (and by "house" I am referring to the meta door, 3 cement rooms, without complete ceiling or locks, shelter they live in that lies between two houses and a pharmacy!) because they cannot afford rent every month. This means we will have to pass them onto whatever missionaries they end up falling under... sad day.
The heat is starting to pick up again. We have enjoyed the last 2 months of cloudy days and coo mornings. I even have started to sleep with a sheet to keep myself warm! The rains won´t be here... for another 5 months and I PRAY to be out of Guayaquil when they come... there is something that just does not sit correctly with me... Trash filled streets, dead dogs, dirt.... and flood waters to walk through. NO SIR! I don´t want to be in Guayaquil when the streets flood!
Note: I live 7ish blocks from the Chapel. It is a ward... right now... but it is going to be downgraded this year to a branch. Cisne Stake does not have enough Priesthood holders to keep the Stake running like a Stake.
If the truth must be told: I have nothing more to say!
I love you all. I am still District Leader. I will never ever ever have time to study if people won´t stop calling me or keep having problems. That is the fun part.

Elder Robinson

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Don´t visit hospitals... EVER!!!

Family and Friends,

Shout Out: Elder Vuinovic. This is the last week of the first change that we have spent together. He is my trainee and I have absolutely enjoyed the time that I have been able to spend with him. Seeing as how this is the last week I really don´t know where I will be next week. I personally believe that I will still be with Elder Vuinovic... but I have never had a companion for more than 1 change... so we´re going to go with the odds and say that I am leaving (but we know nothing for certain yet).

He and I have had an enjoyable experience here in Independencia (Suburb of Batallon and Guayaquil). We have now had the grand total of 3 baptisms and he has enjoyed trying to learn how to be a missionary as I jump between sectors as District Leader. He has adapted perfectly to the life of a missionary and he even speaks Spanish (Castellano) casi perfecto. Él puede trabajar un poco mas con sus verbos. Though starting the mission in Guayaquil is not the easiest of experiences... we have found ways to work past that... without a program, without investigators, and with a lot of help from the Lord.

Great missionary.

My Week: Sunday we were approached by a member that lives in 7 de Septiembre (the other ward that meets in our building). She is an investigator of Elders Estrada and Tobar. I interviewed her two children for baptism and both have been baptised... she should be baptised soon. Anyway, she asked us if we could help her Father who has cancer and has been lying in a hospital dying for the last 3 months. We told her we would do whatever was possible... and she asked us to donate blood. Now I am not a squimish person... but I am quite fond of my blood. I really don´t want to ever give it away. I thought it was bad enough that I had to have an HIV test in the MTC to come to Ecuador (it is required for all the Ecuador Missionaries). We told her that we would think about it and we went our merry way.

Wednesday: We were sitting in our house studying when we heard a call from outside (Ha Ver!) hm mm... who could be calling the missionaries? John Preciado, her son, was standing outside our house (how did he know where we lived?) and told us that they had set everything up for us to donate our blood. All they needed was for us to give them our Cedulas (Kind of like a drivers licence... or what they use here in Ecuador to keep track of people). Yeah, quick decision. We decided to give blood.

When we showed up to the hospital I was absolutely appalled at how a hospital can be a hospital in Ecuador. This is by far one of the filthiest countries I know. Mulling in terrible thoughts of staff infection my mind was put at ease as I watched France loose to Mexico in the World Cup (GO MEXICO!!! DIE FRANCE!!!) As the game ended it then became my turn to donate my blood. Me and my companion made our way to a back room and took a ton of pictures of us lounging in these old chairs getting ready to give our blood. My companion said, "Elder, If they come out with two hoses and a coke bottle... I´m running!" Fortunately for us... they used normal equipment. Yeah! I donated blood for the first time in my life. Yeah, maybe I would have preferred it if the nurse had changed gloves in between patients... or if she did not use the same bloody siccors that she used with other people... or a billion other things... but it is all in the past now. After we gave blood (5 minutes-ish for me to fill up a half liter) Hna. Preciado took us to the other side of the hospital to see her dad. This is what made the entire trip worth it. The hospital was super... um... lovely (gmuff!) and I really enjoyed all the sights, sounds, and smells. When we met her dad he was laying in a bed in a room with four other people that looked like they were just about to die. He thanked us so much for our donation for blood. Told us that he really appreciated the help we had given him and asked us to share a message. My companion and I both gave him a message about death and that everything will work out for his family. It was later we were told that he actually has no chance to live and that the blood we donated will probably have no affect on his life span or future surgery. We felt great to see him.

It was as we were leaving the hospital that I realized... I CAN NEVER DONATE BLOOD AGAIN. Now I don´t want a string of emails from my family asking me if I have HIV or some crazy talk virus... but as I remember one of the questions they ask you in the states is: Have you ever donated blood in a 3rd Word Country? Yep. I have. Sorry folks. I can now only donate blood in 3rd world countries. GO THE 3RD WORLD! I feel great. It was safe enough to do that we had permission and I have yet to hear about a missionary that returned home from Ecuador with some crazy blood disease.

Baptism: We baptised Ana Bermeo this week. She is an absolutely amazing 15 year old. She has read... not joking... about 1/4 of the Book of Mormon and is already memorizing how everything is fitting together. She was especially interested in the lessons taught by Alma and she can´t wait to be a member. We plan on Confirming her a member of the Church next week. She couldn´t come to Church this week because of family problems. (Picture 2 is Ana Bermeo). The Baptism was a complete success even though my companion and I spent over 4 hours cleaning the church because the Bishop´s daughter was married and they used the chapel as the reception hall... until 3 in the morning... needless to say their was a TON to clean.

We don´t believe we will be having ANY more baptisms this change but we are looking forward to an AMAZING family the next change. Also. I went back to look through how many baptisms my mission had in the 1 year that I have been in the mission. Something Elder Robinson (II) said from Georgia made me want to look. We have had 1300+ baptisms in my time here. Though of the missions here in South America... we baptise practically the least. There are missions that are part of our area that baptise over 600 people every six weeks. Elder Robinson (II): work hard so that your mission can get above 1000 as well. With your help they can do it.

We almost got robbed this week. But my companion and I scared him off when we found out that he did not like looking like a robber... so we looked like the robbed... and he ran off. Funny story if you ask me. I even had my camera in my bag. Bad luck for him... never go against Elder Robinson and Elder Vuinovic. Lesson learned.

Side Note: I would like to send some letters home to friends... but seeing as how it is summer... please give me a few weeks notice before you move so that I do not send letters to OLD ADDRESSES. Thanks.

That is the work and life of your favorite Elder Robinson (I)


Elder Robinson

PS: FRANCE LOST TO MEXICO. Thought you might have forgotten.
PSS: We had an amazing picture of my companion and I celebrating when the US tied to Slovenia... but my companion forgot his memory card. 2-2. USA! USA! USA!


Picture 1: Roxanna Albuja. Aunt to Ana Bermeo. She is your normal sized Ecuadorian woman. Yes, you can judge people by their size.
Picture 2: Ana Bermeo waiting for baptism
Picture 3: Josè Albuja, Roxana Albuja, Elder Vuinovic, Elder Robinson, and Ana Bermeo

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A ti te digo...

Family and Friends,
Shout Out: Ann (Robinson) Maas! Ann, my beloved sister, is having a BABY!!! BOY!!! YEAH!!! This now makes 2 little ones that I will miss while I am on my mission. No fears. I will be home soon enough. I just have to baptise a few more people... and... I... will... ... be... home! Anyway, this brings my sobrino count to: 7. If Christy and Amy both have another child while I am gone... I will have 9. That's right folks! Elder Robinson can still do math. Though he is not to excited to take CAL 113 at BYU next year. Chuso!
My Week: Every time that we have to work towards baptisms... our numbers slow down. Every time that missionaries call me to do interviews... my numbers slow down. Every time that we have to DEEP CLEAN our house... our numbers drop off the deep end. But when all is said and done: the Lord is happy.
We had 2 baptisms this week. We have been working for months now to baptise Familia Jaramillo, needless to say only the daughter was baptised but once the parents work out some of their problems they to will be counted among the Saints. Simonne Gomez (the daughter) is 9 and very mature. She has a ton of support from the Primary President and if her parents continue progressing then everything will turn out perfectly.
Genesis Cruz was also baptised this week. She was a reference from a member who wanted to reactivate her grandma so that her grandma can enter the Temple for her first time this year (but first you have to be active). Hna. Ofelia gave us the reference, we went to the house, taught lesson one, and invited Genesis to be baptised. Now, 4 weeks later, Genesis is the newest member of the ward and will be one of the strongest. Studying with the Jehova's Whitnesses for 1 year helped her learn the Bible really well, and living with her inactive grandma helped her accept our message with ease. Now her grandma is active, she is a member, and Hna. Ofelia is working on getting the Grandma (Hna. Gertrudis) to the Temple in a few months. Absolutely amazing (amassing: love you lots Elder Robinson II, not that I can spell worth beans anymore either).
Saturday we went to the Church in the morning to clean and fill the baptismal font. We started the filling and quickly worked on the cleaning. After we had cleaned for 30 minutes... we noticed that the font was not filling up anymore. CHUSO! um... we checked the tap, the font, the pipes... and we found that half the the chapel was WITHOUT water. My companion suggested that we could fill up the font using water from the Men's Room- but we could not use a trashcan. We would prefer that our converts did not get Hepatitis C during their baptisms. I decided that we would have to find the source of the problem instead. As we were looking a thought came to my mind: Check the Circuit Breakers. Yep! That was it! A circuit had flipped. I turned them all off and started them all up again. It was just like Jurrasic Park... watching the entire chapel come back to life... one switch at a time! When I hit the second to last switch we heard water again! ABOVE US!!! We listened and listened... Why are there water pipes above us? So we climbed on a table and looked into the attic. In the chapel, between el techo and the roof there are TWO HUGE water barrels... and I brought one of them back to life! We then went back to cleaning... thinking that everything was going to be OK. WRONG! After another half hour of cleaning we noticed that the font was still not filling up. 1. To have a baptism you need water. 2. We don't have all day. 3. Apparently we didn't really find the problem. We were out of ideas. What could we do? PRAY! We did. We got down next to the font and my companion and I both said our own prayers. I spoke with the Lord, let him know what our problem was, told him that these baptisms were important and that we were utterly out of ideas. I asked him to lend us some help... knowing that he is SUPER merciful. We got up... and the font was filling.
Moral of story: Maybe it was just ''coincidence'' that we prayed and then when we stood up the font was filling... OR... maybe the Lord was waiting for us to realize that we ALWAYS need his help. With every baptism I have had there has always been some sort of problem. I personally think this is when the Lord steps in to teach Elder Robinson (I) that he ALWAYS has to ask. And then the Lord always pulls through. DONT EVER FORGET THE LORD IN ANYTHING! And always give thanks afterwards. This was a cool learning experience for my companion and I.
This week I also had to do a few interviews over in the Island. To clarify: I am the District Leader of 1 of 2 islands in the mission: La Isla Trinitaria. Sorry folks, it isn't Galapagos.  I interviewed 2 young men and they passed with flying colors and were baptised Saturday. Their mom was interviewed by one of President John's councilors and was also baptised Saturday. The Island then called me back to do an interview Sunday. I interviewed a young man that has had the HARDEST of lives. He was into some pretty hard core stuff and his life was an absolute mess... until someone at school talked to him about the church. He accepted and has spent the last several months putting everything in order. He has a long way to go yet but he has changed sufficiently to be baptised and confirmed a member of the Church. This interview was eye opening for me to see how much someone can change in their lives and how powerful the atonement really is. Restatement: How ALL POWERFUL the Atonement is.
We deep cleaned our house this week. Everything that could not be put into a suitcase... was thrown into OUTER DARKNESS... or the street. Whichever one was closest. We were pleased when the house was cleaned and then Hna. Johns showed up to check. She gave us a 10+ and some muffins. That will probably be the last time that I will see her here in the mission. Goodbye President and Sister Johns!
I really wish I had more to say... but everything was just normal. We are planning a baptism for next week and we just found a kid that told us he wants to be baptised. I was confused... I thought he was baptised: he goes to church every week. Now we just need to get permission from his parents and fill up the font, two things that I do not believe will be a problem.
Ana Bermeo: She is a Gothic girl that lives behind some members in our ward. She is super interested in the church and will be baptised this week. She takes everything super seriously and always has some really deep questions about what she has read in the Book of Mormon. The lessons have been going great for her and I left for an interchange this week and told my companion to teach her: CHASTITY. Needless to say everything went great. I was back in my sector the next day and we were walking down the street when we saw her. We stopped to talk to her... and she had taken out her lip rings. Trying to contain my excitement we finished the conversation. My companion and I made our way around the corner and then had a party in the street! She has been doing EVERYTHING we have asked her to do! I am super proud of her and I am super blessed to teach amazing people like her that will do whatever it takes to attain Eternal Life.
Stay strong till the end folks!
Chao Chao,

Elder Robinson (I)

Pictures to come!

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Reply to Spencer's email: Georgia

Family and Friends,
I would like you all to pray extra hard for those missionaries that dont have the following:
1. Cell Phones (we talk to our president once every 3ish weeks)
2. Bikes
3. Cars
4. or Carpet in our houses!!!
5. Water that can be drunk from the tap.
6. Hospitals (ok we do have those... but I would never use one)
and do have:
1. Heat
2. Sun
3. and tons of work to do.
Thank you for your consideration!
Elder Robinson (I)

Papa...papa...papaaa FOTOS!!!

Family and Friends,
1. My companion and I at the Malecon!
2. Me! At my 1 year birthday party!
3. Rat. Dead. Don't judge us!
4. Galapagos Turtles! HUGE!!!
Elder Robinson

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Monday, June 7, 2010


Family and Friends,

Shout Out: To those that are...fill in the blank. I am thinking about you!

My week: In flashes:

Flash 1: Ana Bermeo. We found her a week ago. She is 15. She read the Book of Mormon and prayed. She marked up her Book of Mormon. Memorized some passages. Wrote down some questions. Decorated her Book of Mormon again (it no longer looks like a 1$ Book of Mormon, but a 80$ novelty). She got her answer. We asked her if she wanted to be baptised. She told us she was just about to ask when she could be baptised. She is going to church and really changing her life around. She is one of those "all black, death, Gothic girls." Never judge anyone the Lord puts in your way. She will be baptised next week.

Flash 2: Genesis Cruz. She was a reference from a member. She is 15. She was studding with the Jehova´s Witnesses for 1 year. We helped her understand that she could be baptised now. She will be baptised this week. Her grandma was just reactivated and is going to church every Sunday with her in a wheelchair. The power of references.

Flash 3: Rat. 9:30 at night. We have known that we had a rat in the house for the past 5 weeks. Though we thought it was Elder Estrada (just jokes). I was tired. I undressed, put myself in a towel, and made my way to the bathroom to shower. I opened the door and RAT ran out. Elder Tobar yelled to Elder Vuinovic to grab the broom. We corned the rat under the fridge. I was still in a towel. Elder Tobar smashed the rat and a few choice organs spilled all over the floor. We have some photos. No more rat.

Flash 4: Robbed. Late at night. Going home. My companion decided to talk to someone he should not have. I moved away. The guy put a knife to my companion. My companion had no clue what was going on. I told him in English: "He is robbing you." My companion yelled, "I DON´T HAVE ANYTHING! WHAT DO YOU WANT!" The guy didn´t understand. I bailed my companion out and gave the guy a dollar. My companion threw him some pennies. Maybe we should stay by our senior companions... right?

Flash 5: Robbed again. My companion remembered the robbery from the other day. He stayed with his companion. We were followed. It was morning. We moved toward the market really really fast. We made it away without being robbed. Really we were not robbed again.

Flash 6: Turtles. From the Galapagos. When I go to Galapagos I want to go with my wife. Why go when you can´t go to the beach? Turtles. Huge! 700lbs. I have tons of pictures. I feel complete. What more do you need in your life if you have pictures of giant turtles? I felt like I was in Jurassic Park. Good movie.

Flash 7: Interview with President Johns. The last one. I am sad to see him go. But life moves on. Do I? He often visits Orem. He wants to stop by and visit mom and dad after I have finished the mission. I am going to call him for sure. The best mission president in the world: President and Sister Johns. I learned a ton in the interview. I received information about 7 de Septiembre and how to make prayers personal.

So that was my week in 7 flashes. I did this because I was in the middle of like 90 conversations with my family over email. But that is just how life goes by: in flashes!

Love you all. Keep up the faith!

Have a great week.

Elder Robinson

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